Community hub with a GP surgery and other services being planned for Weston-super-Mare town centre
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:19 22 May 2017
A community hub, which could house a GP surgery and children's centre, is being considered for Weston-super-Mare town centre.
North Somerset Council has employed experts to assess the feasibility of a ‘modern multi-use facility’ in the town.
It says it is ‘engaged in a major partnership’ with North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to ‘transform health and care services’ across Weston and Worle.
They, with support from other public bodies, are embarking on the Weston Central One Public Estate project – which could alleviate ‘long-standing concerns’ about facilities available in the town centre.
The council held talks with NHS England and the CCG last week to form a new strategy to tackle health service issues in Weston.
Council chief executive Mike Jackson said: “As part of its ambitious vision for regenerating the town centre of Weston, the council would like to see good quality, accessible public services, in a modern multi-use facility.
“It is important to both meet the needs of existing residents and the likely increased population of students and residents in the future.
“There are long-standing concerns about the sufficiency of existing GP services in the town centre and the location and size of the children’s centre.
“Other services are looking to relocate or co-locate. In this context the council and partners successfully bid for One Public Estate funding to develop a proposal for a new town-centre hub providing health and other services.”
The council has received £145,000 for the project, and has appointed WP Consulting to undertake initial work to ‘develop a vision’ for a ‘multi-agency hub’, costing £7,200.
The firm will assess what facilities could be included, and propose possible locations.
Consultant Steve Williams added: “As patterns of tourism and leisure have changed, the town has suffered from the same problems as many other coastal communities, including a lack of public and private investment.
“A major regeneration programme is now underway which will bring around 2,000 homes, new jobs and a university.
“This means demand for services will grow, but more importantly, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure there is social as well as economic and physical regeneration in Weston.”